Located on GA Hwy 441/Eatonton Hwy, about a mile south of the Interstate 20 corridor off exit 114 in Madison, Ga., is Farmview Market
Opened in February, the 10,000-square foot facility offers
a year-round specialty grocery store, butcher shop, farm-to-table café and a seasonal farmers market that runs April - November.
But don't think it's like the typical places you've previously stopped in to browse or pick up a few things.
Because from its beginnings to its products, there isn't anything typical about Farmview Market.
The agritourism-based retailer came about in an unusual way. Inspired by employees' response to the Kelly Products
' company garden, Keith Kelly, CEO and president realized it's near impossible to buy fresh, local food.
"For many, eating fresh, local items can be an eye-opening experience," he says. "It's a 'wow moment.' They realize the taste and quality are dramatically different than what they are accustomed to."
Seeing this need and wanting a way to bring farmers and the community together, Kelly thought maybe something could be done.
He traveled around with his son and checked out what was already available to consumers and what was popular. With a concept in mind, Kelly found land in Madison and worked out a private-public partnership with Morgan County to establish Farmview Market.
The experience would start with the building itself.
In a way to honor the agrarian community, Kelly worked with Heritage Restoration
in Waco, Texas who located two historic barns
to be repurposed as Farmview. Found in upstate New York and shipped to Georgia to be reconstructed was a Dutch barn, built between 1750-1770 and an 1850s English barn.
"The barns add ambiance," he says. "I like their history and what they stood for."
As soon as you enter the building, you realize Farmview Market is a place where farming and local food producing is both celebrated and promoted.
On the grocery side, Kelly says they work to go "as local as possible" with the vegetables and fruits. On the shelves, many local and regional products are represented. The market adds designations in front of the products indicating everything from "Georgia Grown" to "organic" to "clean." Other items include artisan breads from Athens and Covington, Georgia-produced oil, local dairy, coffees and more, including products from local artists.
The butcher shop works with various local and regional farmers for pork and beef products. Farmview makes their sausages and offers about 20 different types. Smoking of meats is done in-house as well.
Seafood is available, too. While they try to be as regional as possible, some items come from outside the South. Farmview works to make sure the fishing techniques and production methods meet their standards.
, open for breakfast and lunch, provides a seasonal menu that highlights many of the fresh products found in the store.
Farmview Market also offers classes
on wellness, nutrition gardening, food growing and other related topics. Keep your eye on their calendar for upcoming events.
Future looks bright for them, with talks about adding a creamery, gardens and more.
Market hours: Monday – Saturday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., closed Sunday. Cafe hours: 7 – 10:30 a.m. (breakfast), 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (lunch). Farmers Market: Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
photos courtesy of Farmview Market